If you check out my earlier post on David’s Service you will find a comment by Kathy Humphry requesting the names of David’s friends here in Chiang Mai. She then sent me a beautiful letter of her experiences with David in Scotland. For all of you who knew David but not in detail, I thought I’d post it here:
Thank you so much. Many of us here in Scotland have been reading the web and seeing what you have done in Chiang Mai.
I met David about 31 years ago. I thought he was a school boy (smoking in the corner) until he stepped forward to conduct “The Magic Fir Tree” which he had just composed.
I was bowled over and have been a supporter ever since. He then went on to found the Hadley Court Singers and I was an early, though not founder member of that.
The next step was the Lasswade Community Orchestra and I was a founder member of that. I am the only original member left sadly. This orchestra moved from Lasswade and became the Open Orchestra which is thriving and will be holding a celebration concert for David on 21st June in the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. This is a lovely old Church on the Royal Mile which is the Church the Queen uses when in residence in Edinburgh. David held his 50th birthday celebration concert there playing a whole concert of his own compositions. We will also be playing only David’s work. It will be a short concert although we could play for many hours as there is quite a lot of David’s music around. I will need to contact someone in the Spirit House Choir as the Hadley Court Singers wish to perform Adam Lay Ybounden which he dedicated to the memory of the husband of one of the orchestra who died in September. We have the music but none of David’s extra markings – speed, dynamics etc and need help if you don’t mind.
David became very stressed in his last year or two at Lasswade. Teachers are treated very badly in my opinion and when the “system” manages to stress out such a natural and talented teacher as David then I can’t imagine how the rest cope at all and how our kids get any inspiration from school at all. He couldn’t wait to retire and join you all in Thailand. When he finally left I thought we would never hear from him again and indeed he did go completely quiet for about a year BUT in September I got a happy e-mail from him.He was really enjoying life again and was really enjoying his new choir. At Christmas he sent a long e-mail for all of us and again was very happy. I am so glad that he found his peace again before he died though really it would have been better for him to have had loads more time to enjoy it.
As soon as he we heard of his death I discovered that whatever conversations I was having, something always reminded me of David. eg my neighbour was celebrating his 40th birthday that week and I remembered David and a few Hadley Court Singers singing outside my bed-room window on a brilliant summer’s day on my 40th before we all had to go to work. I remember all 4 homes that he had in the Lothian area since I knew him and helped him move. He looked after me when my son needed to stay over night in the Sick Children’s Hospital which was almost next door to where David lived at the time. He gave me Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin to read that night and I have always loved those books ever since. (I lived in San Francisco in the early 70’s).
Your loss is greater than ours. We had really already lost David when he left to go to Thailand but all of you had hoped to have a future with him. I can’t tell you how dreadfully sorry I am.”
Thanks Kathy – I know many will appreciate to learn of David’s amazing past.